The independent pathway for training is a six-year program, without a mandatory research year. There is one position each year. Interviews will be conducted in January and February of the match year. Invitations for interviews will be provided prior to November 30th.
The six years represent a gradually increasing experience in plastic surgery, such that the fourth, fifth and sixth years are solely spent in plastic surgery. The first-year resident spends eight weeks in plastic surgery, while the second-year resident rotates with plastic surgery for 12 weeks. Residents spend the remaining time in various surgery rotations, including trauma, critical care, general surgery, burn surgery, orthopedics, emergency medicine and anesthesiology. Four weeks of night float are part of the first and second years. The third-year resident spends six months on plastic surgery and two months each on head and neck cancer and on the breast/melanoma/sarcoma general surgery service. Additionally, one month is spent on dermatology and one on oral surgery. The vast majority of clinical rotations are in Gainesville at UF Health Shands Hospital or at the Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center. First- and second-year residents in the independent program also spend time at the Lake City VA Medical Center.
Clinical exposure is very broad and encompasses the entire spectrum of the specialty, including congenital anomalies, head and neck cancer, craniofacial trauma, reconstructive and cosmetic breast surgery, abdominal and lower reconstruction, microsurgery, hand and peripheral nerve surgery, burns, cosmetic surgery and laser surgery. Additionally, non-surgical aesthetics are a busy part of the out-patient enterprise. The program currently has one position each year, although the clinical volume will easily support two residents. It is anticipated that the finishing resident will easily exceed all training requirements in the operative log.
The resident is a plastic surgery resident from the moment he or she begins training. As such, participation in didactic education is expected. The didactic teaching is well organized via biweekly conferences and monthly journal club. Additionally, online teaching is available through a self-study guide. In addition to these specific plastic surgery activities, the department of surgery conducts grand rounds each week, which the plastic surgery residents, faculty and students attend.
Plastic surgery residents are encouraged to complete at least one scholarly project during their residency, usually in the form of a clinical study or book chapter. Proper administrative support and attending physician guidance is provided in this regard. Also, all residents will participate in at least one Quality Assurance/Patient Safety project annually.